Nfld. & Labrador

Knife attack foiled at St. John's junior high school, teachers told they were targeted

Police alerted staff at Leary's Brook Junior High School that some students planned to bring knives in their backpacks to attack three teachers, sources tell CBC News.

3 teachers were targeted by students, sources say

Leary's Brook Junior High is located on Larkhall Street in St. John's. (CBC)

Three teachers at Leary's Brook Junior High were reportedly targets of a planned knife attack by students at the Grade 6-9 school, sources tell CBC News.

The school principal called a staff meeting on Tuesday and alerted the entire staff about information he received from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

The staff members were told some students planned to bring knives to school in their backpacks. The targets of the alleged plot were not singled out during the meeting.

Police were informed about the attack ahead of time. It's not known if any arrests have been made.

Officials with the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association confirm they were also briefed on the information about the alleged plot.

Today's schools are a much different animal than they were 15, 20 or 25 years ago.- Dean Ingram

NLTA president Dean Ingram told CBC News the three teachers were informed afterwards, and were made aware of all supports available to them.

"It's disturbing. I don't think there's any way to sugarcoat that," Ingram said. 

"And unfortunately it's something that's popping up more and more across the country."

Dean Ingram, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association, says school resources are an issue when it comes to student and teacher safety. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Ingram said school violence is on the rise nationwide, and said this incident actually parallels a second threat made against a Newfoundland and Labrador school before Christmas.

He said he wants to see the school district and Department of Education take school safety more seriously — not just for students, but for teachers.

"Today's schools are a much different animal than they were 15, 20 or 25 years ago," he said. "Are school counsellor allocations adequate? From my perspective, the answer is no."

Late Thursday afternoon, CBC News requested comment from the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, but has not yet received a response. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


With files from Anthony Germain